BUDAPEST (REUTERS) – The Central European University (CEU), founded by billionaire George Soros, said on Monday (Dec 3) it had been forced out of Hungary in “an arbitrary eviction” that violated academic freedom, and it confirmed plans to open a new campus in Austria. CEU’s statement is the culmination of a years-long struggle between Hungarian-born but US-based Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, and the nationalist, anti-immigrant government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. For nearly three decades CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from ex-communist eastern Europe, offering US-accredited degree programmes in an academic climate that celebrates free thought. The university said it would leave Budapest if it had not secured guarantees of academic freedom by Dec 1. “CEU has been forced out,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff in a statement. “This is unprecedented. A US institution has been driven out of a country that is a Nato ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the EU.” “Arbitrary eviction of a reputable university is a flagrant violation of academic freedom. It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary,” CEU’s statement… Read full this story
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